In Our Memories Forever Project

This book features my paintings and thoughts based on the surviving collection of letters written by my maternal grandparents between 1898 -1902. These words were penned while my grandfather was in the Russian army and would write to my grandmother in her shtetl in Belarus. These letters also cover the period when my grandfather and my great uncle traveled to America and corresponded back to their families. 
These writings gave me a personal autobiographical glimpse into the thoughts of 18-20-year-old Jewish Russians in the 20th century, in love, in the army, in anguish as to their present situation and as they struggled in a foreign country. In these few years, my grandparents lived an eternity. This collection of century-old letters represents authentic cultural identities from a particular area of shtetls in Russia. My grandparents are a real life example of the history and culture of Jews who immigrated and generated subsequent generations in Montreal. Many families followed the initial courageous travellers who arrived there. This collection of letters present a genuine opportunity to meditate on that past time and provided a window to the development of the current generations of Jews in Montreal and Canada.
While tracing my Jewish heritage through writing and painting, I reflected upon my roots. I seemed in a trance, tracing my existence through my imagination with new and valuable insights. These letters spoke volumes of courage and determination. In the midst of my voyage, I contemplated about how the promise of freedom is so worth the effort and has thus ensured the preservation and continuation of future generations of Jews. My grandparents are but one example. My wish is that my contemplations will enlighten and cause introspection about the struggles of any immigrant to this country. This universal theme applies to any immigrant, at anytime. 

I am in awe and respectful to all whom courageously leave their homeland in search of a better life and a new beginning.
open the book from the exhibition.
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I am available for exhibitions and lectures

Copyright 2005 by Susan Shulman.

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